Contact Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information

When contacting University offices by email, always use your @stanford.edu email account so that we can verify your identity.

Approaching Stanford

(650) 723-7674, approaching@stanford.edu, via Canvas

For general questions about the Approaching Stanford process, your forms, emails or mailings, preparing for Stanford, or just to chat with the student staff.

Meet the Orientation Coordinators (OCs)!

Bechtel International Center

new_intl_students@stanford.edu

For questions about visa matters and International Student Orientation (ISO).

Financial Aid Office

(888) 326-3773 or (650) 723-3058, financialaid@stanford.edu

For questions about your financial aid package and outside scholarship awards.

Office of Accessible Education

(650) 723-1066 or TTY (650) 723-1067

For questions about services and resources for students with disabilities and/or in need of academic and housing accommodations during the academic year.

For accommodations needed during NSO (students or family members), email approaching@stanford.edu.

Office of Undergraduate Admission

(650) 723-2091, admit@stanford.edu

High school counselors should send official high school transcripts via mail, fax 650-723-6050, or email credentials@stanford.edu.

Student Financial Services

(866) 993-7772 or (650) 723-7772, helpsu.stanford.edu

For questions about the University billing process and financial aid disbursements.

Vaden Health Center

(650) 498-2336, vaden-emr@stanford.edu

For questions about the health requirements, online health forms, health services, or health insurance waivers and coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What do I need to do first?

Go to approaching.stanford.edu and begin working on your required Approaching Stanford Forms online - First-Year Forms Deadline: June 8, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. (PDT); Transfer Forms Deadline: June 29, 2018 (Transfers) at 8:00 a.m. (PDT). Refer to your Important Dates and Deadlines handout sent with the first Approaching Stanford mailing to identify other important communications and deadlines of which you should be aware. Check your @stanford.edu email frequently by logging in at webmail.stanford.edu and begin communicating with administrators and each other via Canvas. Every Monday from May 14-September 10, we'll email you the weekly Approaching Stanford Newsletter highlighting important deadlines, updates, information, resources, and opportunities.

Why do I see different terms used at Stanford - am I a "first-year", "frosh", or "freshman"?

At Stanford, we are gradually moving away from the term "freshman/freshmen" and beginning to use the term "first-year(s)" to refer to undergraduate students in their first year. As we make this shift, you will continue to see both "first-year" and "freshman" being used by different offices and departments, but should gradually begin to see "freshman" being phased out. We will continue to use "frosh" more informally when referring to first-year students and the first-year experience!

Where do I find my Stanford student ID number (SUID)?

You can find your SUID number on the letter from Vice Provost Harry Elam in your first Approaching Stanford mailing, on your acceptance letter from Dean Rick Shaw, or on your Approaching Stanford Forms under your student photo.

How do I check my @stanford.edu email?

Log in to your Stanford email account at webmail.stanford.edu. The University will send communications, including important notifications, only to this email account and you should use it when contacting university offices so that they can verify your identity as the sender. You are responsible for checking your Stanford email regularly. For problems with your Stanford email, submit a Help Ticket to Stanford IT.

What if I'm having problems with Two-Step Authentication or with my SUNet ID?

Two-Step Authentication is required to access secure Stanford systems and protects your Stanford account should someone else learn your password. You can read more and update your authentication method at twostep.stanford.edu. We recommend that anyone who travels internationally set their two-step authentication method to Duo Mobile Passcode, which allows you to generate your authentication code on your mobile device without an Internet or cellular connection.

If you need a one-time only Two-Step Authentication bypass code, go to accounts.stanford.edu, select "Lost your two-step device", get your one-time bypass code, and immediately RESET your Two-Step Authentication method. You will only be able to use this option once, so be sure you reset your Two-Step method at accounts.stanford.edu as soon as you gain access to your account.

If you lose access to your account a second time or if you have forgotten your SUNet ID/password, contact Stanford IT by calling (650) 725-HELP, 7am-7pm M-F. If you cannot call them, submit a Help Request - they will still need to talk to you via phone/internet to verify your identity before giving you access to your account.

How do I access my @stanford.edu email on my mobile device or desktop computer?

All new undergraduate students can access their @stanford.edu email account using the Microsoft Exchange online service, Office 365, which provides cloud-based email and calendaring. Outlook is the web-based email client for Office 365 and will let you access your Stanford email, calendar, address book, and tasks on any computer through a web browser. To set up a desktop email client or mobile device to access your email, see the Office 365 configuration instructions. You can also use your @stanford.edu account to log in to Google Drive and to use Google Apps, but new undergraduate students cannot access Stanford email on Gmail.

How do I change my preferred name?

Go to Axess and click on “Student Center”, scroll down to Personal Information, and edit your Preferred Name. You can edit your Preferred First and Preferred Middle Names. If you do not want your middle name to appear on your account (Stanford email, Canvas, etc.) as part of your preferred name, you can delete your middle name from the preferred middle name field.

If you change your preferred first name this summer, please notify approaching@stanford.edu and we will update your name in our e-Newsletter program.

Note: changes made in Axess will take about 24 hours to register in the system.

How do I enroll in the Installment Payment Plan?

To enroll in the Installment Payment Plan (deadline is July 15 for Autumn Quarter 2018), log in to Axess, click on "Student", scroll down to the "Finances" section, select "other financial" on the drop-down menu, and select "enroll in installment payment plan".

How do I change my mailing address?

Go to Axess and click on “Student Center”, scroll down to Personal Information, and edit your address. Update your address in Axess every time it changes – during the summer and at any time after you’ve arrived to Stanford. We use the mailing address you list in Axess for your Approaching Stanford mailings, so be sure it is up-to-date and notify approaching@stanford.edu if it changes during the summer. We use the US Postal Service (USPS) for all our mailings.

Note: changes made in Axess will take about 24 hours to register in the system.

Why is there an Enrollment Hold on my account in Axess? How do I get it lifted?

Every incoming first-year and transfer student has a standard "New Student Advisement" enrollment hold - this hold will be lifted during New Student Orientation, at which time new students can begin to enroll in Autumn Quarter classes. While enrollment opens on August 1 for upperclass students, new students will not be able to enroll until NSO. It will be lifted automatically after (1) you have had an academic advising conversation with your UAR Advisor (Academic Advising Director or Academic Advisor for Student-Athletes) during the summer or NSO, and (2) you have arrived for NSO.

New sudents will also have a "Student Check-In" hold that will prevent enrollment. You will complete the Student Check-In as part of the Approaching Stanford Forms process by logging into Axess and following the Student Check-In instructions online. You will be required to update your Student Check-In on an annual basis.

What's Canvas and how do I access it?

Canvas is a secure Stanford system which all students will be required to use for their courses during the academic year. In the "Approaching Stanford 2018" course in Canvas this summer, we will be hosting online chats with staff and faculty, Q&A sessions with university offices, and also various discussion boards answering FAQs about topics such as moving to Stanford, completing the Approaching Stanford Forms, housing preferences, and more. Log in to read questions posted by your classmates and post your own questions for the Approaching Stanford team and other University administrators to answer in this secure setting. Your SUNet ID and password will be required to log in. Canvas will open on May 14 for first-years, and on June 11 for transfers.

How do I join "The Official Stanford Class of 2022" Facebook Group?

Members of the incoming Stanford Class of 2022 can request to join "The Official Stanford Class of 2022" Facebook Group. Only matriculated undergraduate members of the class will be approved to join. The Facebook Group is a great way for classmates to get to know each other and is managed by the Approaching Stanford profile, "Jane Stanford." If you have questions about Stanford and would like a response from University administrators, please visit the "Approaching Stanford 2018" course in Canvas  for more information, and not on Facebook, as Canvas is a more secure environment for responses.

**Note that there are many unofficial Facebook Groups that exist with Stanford Class of 2022 in their names. These other groups are NOT affiliated with Stanford University and we do not recommend that you join them, as information they post may be incorrect and/or they may try to mis-use your identity. For example, the Facebook group "Official Stanford University Class of 2022" does not have any current Stanford undergrads serving as the admins - if you have joined, we recommend that you discontinue membership in this group.**

When will my Approaching Stanford mailings arrive?

The mailings will be sent according to the schedule on the Important Dates and Deadlines handout included in the first Approaching Stanford mailing. They may take 1-2 weeks from the posted date to arrive, 2-3 weeks for international students. The mailings are sent to the current mailing address listed in Axess, so be sure to update your address in Axess if it changes at any time during the summer. If you don’t receive a mailing within 3 weeks of the posted send date, you can email approaching@stanford.edu. The publications in all the mailings, except the Three Books, are available as PDFs on our website. You do not need to have received the Approaching Stanford mailing in order to complete your Forms. 

How do I submit a photo?

Your photo is required for your Stanford ID card. The photo upload process is through a system maintained by the ID Card Office. If you have trouble uploading your photo, check to ensure that:

  • You are using a compatible browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. Safari is not compatible.
  • You have selected a photo that meets the requirements: you are the only person in the photo; the background is solid white or light; you are facing forward with eyes open; no hats or sunglasses.
  • You have submitted your photo in an acceptable format: png, gif, jpg, or jpeg.
  • You have submitted a photo file that is 2MB or smaller.
  • You have correctly cropped your photo. It will not be accepted if the width is larger than the height.

If you have met the above requirements and are still experiencing trouble, please submit a Help Ticket for the ID Card Office at helpsu.stanford.edu.

In addition to being used for your Stanford ID card, this photo is used for the printed Stanford Lookbook, a publication of the photos, names, hometowns, and dorm assignments of first year students and new transfers which every new student receives at check-in. Your photo may also be displayed in your dorm by your residence staff. You may opt out of being included in the Stanford Lookbook and residence displays by sending an email to approaching@stanford.edu with your request by the Approaching Stanford Forms deadline of June 8.

Can I change information on my Approaching Stanford Forms before the deadline?

If you have already submitted your forms and the deadline has not yet passed, send an email to approaching@stanford.edu indicating your requested change and we will help you make the change. Some information on the Personal Information form has been auto-filled from details on your admission application - to request a change, contact approaching@stanford.edu.

Can I change information on my Approaching Stanford Forms after the deadline?

If you need to make a change to the forms after the deadline, please send an email with the request to approaching@stanford.edu using your @stanford.edu email account. Depending on the issue we may be able to make the change, but many offices start using the information right away so only certain changes are allowed. 

If I complete the online Vaden Health Forms, do I also need to send in my immunization record?

You must complete both the online forms as well as send in an official copy of your immunization forms to Vaden Heath Center using the Stanford Immunization Form for Non-Medical Students. You should scan and email, fax, or postal mail these records to Vaden Health Center.

What if I need an accommodation?

If you have a medical condition, including severe food allergy, or documented disability, contact the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) to discuss accommodations you might need at Stanford, (650) 723-1066 or TTY (650) 723-1067. Be sure to contact the OAE by June 27, 2018, if you need to request a housing accommodation. For more information, review the registration process online at Registering for OAE Accommodations.

Who can I ask about classes during the summer? When do I enroll in classes?

All incoming first-year students have a "New Student Advisement" enrollment hold". You will not be able to enroll in classes until (1) you have had an academic advising conversation with your UAR Advisor (Academic Advising Director or Academic Advisor for Student-Athletes) during the summer or NSO, and (2) you have arrived for NSO. See Academic Advising for more information about these future advisors. During the summer, build a list of your academic questions and share these questions with your UAR Advisor when you are contacted in mid-August.

Can I get proof of enrollment?

Once you enroll in courses and submit a Study List, enrollment verifications can be obtained online through Axess. However, as a new student, you cannot enroll in Autumn Quarter courses until NSO. If you need verification for scholarship or insurance purposes, you should first inform the scholarship agency or insurance company that Stanford frosh will not be able to enroll in courses until NSO on September 20; thus, enrollment verifications will not be available until after that date. Sometimes a copy of your acceptance letter will suffice or companies will provide an extension. If you still need proof of enrollment, please send an email to approaching@stanford.edu and we will provide a letter of explanation.

Where does my high school counselor send my final report and transcript?

Your final report and transcript should be sent by your high school counselor to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Instructions for sending these reports were included in your acceptance packet from the Office of Undergraduate Admission. 

  • Mail: Stanford University, Office of Undergraduate Admission at Montag Hall - 355 Galvez Street, Stanford, CA 94305-6106
  • Fax: (650) 723-6050
  • Email: credentials@stanford.edu

When are the Language Placement Tests? Should I take one?

Online written language placement tests begin on June 4 and take place through August 30, 2018. Check the schedule at Language Sequences and Placement.

Oral placement tests and some written tests will be offered during NSO. The placement tests are necessary if you are trying to fulfill the language requirement or if you plan to continue classes in a language with which you have familiarity. Placement tests may diagnose you as needing one to three quarters of additional study for the language before the requirement can be fulfilled. Placement test results are valid for one year.

I'm an international (non-U.S. citizen) student, what do I need to do?

First, submit your Declaration of Finances form (sent to you by the Office of Undergraduate Admission when you accepted your offer of admission). Once received, the Bechtel International Center will send you visa information. You will also receive more information from Bechtel during the summer. In the meantime, you can find information online, or email Bechtel with your questions.

When is International Student Orientation (ISO) and how do I register for it? Who should attend ISO?

ISO begins Monday, September 17, and concludes on Thursday morning, September 20, 2018. Check-in will be from 2:00-6:00 p.m. on September 17 at which time you will move in directly to your dorm room for the academic year. All international students attending ISO must register by checking the ISO box on their Housing Preference Form of their Approaching Stanford Forms. International (non-US citizen, non-permanent resident) students for whom the Bechtel International Center will issue visa paperwork are required to attend and therefore cannot participate in SPOT. US citizens living abroad, including those with dual citizenship, are not required to attend, but may request approval to attend on their Housing Preference Form and provide an explanation - Bechtel will review all requests and determine which ones are appropriate to approve. All other students will arrive on September 20 for New Student Orientation (NSO).

When is NSO? Is NSO required?

New Student Orientation (NSO) is from Thursday, September 20, through Sunday, September 23, 2018. Students can begin moving in at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 20 and must be checked in by 5:00 p.m. that day. All incoming students are required to attend NSO for the full duration. Parent and family events will be available on the first day of NSO. After that, they should not make additional plans to spend time with you or to take you off-campus as you will be fully engaged with NSO from morning until night each day. The NSO Event Calendars, Move-In Day Information (directions and maps), and more will be available at orientation.stanford.edu by September 1, 2018.

Can I enroll in Summer Quarter at Stanford?

No, new incoming undergraduate first-year and transfer students cannot enroll at Stanford in the Summer Quarter (including online courses) prior to their first year, unless they are participating in a VPUE-sponsored program by invitation. Exceptions are very rarely granted.

See also: